Apenheul - Funky Monkeytown!
Monkey Business In The Netherlands
You probably will get bored when your family makes one after another "funny" joke about you visiting your relatives in Apenheul in the Netherlands. But actually when you go there, you'll find yourself fitting in surprisingly well. You really want to blend in with the cute little primates. Sitting as still as you can, just hoping a black-capped squirrel monkey will jump on your shoulder and starts to de-flea your hair. If you're impressed by monkeys, you will enjoy your stay in Apenheul very much. There are lots of species to watch and not just monkeys. They shelter other animals as well. There are some parrots, loris, herons and other birds flying freely around. Also you can find ant-eaters, turtles, capibaras and a nice little children's farm and more in the park.
STOP! Monkey Fight - Go Bananas!
Which Monkey Do You Like Best?
A Little History of the Park
In 1971 Apenheul was founded by Wim Mager. It was his idea to let the monkeys live and walk around free in this area. Just wandering around the people, which was and still is unique on this scale. Little caged monkeys, but Apenheul tried to copy their natural environment. At first the species were limited to a couple of smaller species. Then in 1976 they introduced the gorilla to the park and with success! In 1979 a new born baby gorilla saw the light.
Bad news in 1980 for Apenheul was a fire that started in the log cabin. 46 Monkeys found their horrific death. When they rebuild, they improved the lodges and introduced some new monkey species like gibbons and lion-monkeys. To make the park more attractive for expositions and they build playgrounds.
In 1995 they expanded and renewed the park. In 1999 the orang-utans came to the park. In 2002 another hell fire hit Apenheul, luckily no monkeys were harmed this time. In 2005 Bongo died aged 33, the most famous gorilla of Apenheul. 2005 is the year the area for the "Berber-monkeys" was completed. Visitors will walk here amongst monkeys. 2008 the founder of Apenheul Wim Mager died, aged 67.
Entering The Park
Be Sure To Be MonkeyProof
When you want to enter the park, you will first get your monkey lesson. They will tell you not to touch, pet or lure the monkeys in any way. You have to watch your belongings, cause monkeys are very curious and cheeky. Therefore, you will get a monkey-free bag to put your stuff in. It has happened so many times that you see a monkey with glasses running into a tree or sitting beside you with a pacifier taken from a baby. When you visit with small children it might be a little frightening. The monkeys are tiny, but they have a power you wouldn't believe.Photo Credit: Commons Wikipedia - Russavial
Cute Little Monkey Attacking Camera - By Hollandsgif on Youtube
Walking Around The Monkey Areas
As said before you must not pet the monkeys. They can bite you very hard when they feel threatened in any way. When they land on you.... let them be. I once was really scared when a monkey was exploring my face. Well actually my mouth! I had a bracket at that time and the monkey wanted it to get out of my mouth. I couldn't struggle, cause that would be to dangerous with two little hands in my mouth and the monkey a few inches away from my face.
I admit that it is really hard not to pet them as they are so cute. And there is one way you can lure them towards you that is kinda harmless (at your own risk). When you make a clenched fist and show that to them, they will come over and bend and pull your fingers just to see what's inside. When they see nothing inside, they will leave.
Monkeys That You Are Allowed To Pet
Feeding Time In Apenheul - By Ton Boon on Youtube
Other Things to See
You can go to some exhibitions spread around the park. Also there are a couple of information desks throughout the park. And you don't want to miss the feeding presentations! Among the many sightings of Apenheul there are the feeding presentations. They are in Dutch, but you can ask your questions in German or English.
Since 2011 you can literally walk into the tree tops with "the Monkey Tree Top Trail" that takes you at monkey level. The entrance to the trail is situated past the Bushbaby Kiosk, along the second part of the route.Photo Credit: Commons Wikipedia - Arjan Haverkamp
Primates are naturally curious and they are always looking for food. Human food is not good for them. Sweets and medicine in particular can make them sick. Do not let the monkeys get into your pockets or bag. You can also leave your personal belongings in free lockers at the entrance of Apenheul. The monkeys have no interest in photo and video cameras, so you can carry these around on your shoulder like everywhere else.Source: Apenheul.com
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